Tag Archives: Fellow Countrymen

Oh, How Far We’ve Fallen

by Richard

Welcome back to the real world, dudes. Hope you’re enjoying the first day back at work. It’s always fun to try and return to work the day after a national holiday, especially one that virtually requires you to keep drinking for most of the day.

I’m going to assume you’ve all made it back well, or at least as well as can be and will be back to fit in time.

Just in time to be astonished at how stupid our fellow countrymen and countrywomen really are.

In an attempt to bring clarity to one of the great scientific debates of our time—of any time—the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has taken a strong stand on the existence of mermaids.

No evidence of aquatic humanoids has ever been found,” the federal agency declares in a statement on its website.

Yes, that’s right. A department of the United States government felt it necessary to issue a statement that mermaids don’t actually exist because it had been getting so many calls asking about the veracity of a report that says they have been found.

What report, you ask? Why, the fictional television show broadcast on Animal Planet channel. In the vein of those alien autopsy shows, only even less convincing, the show actually fooled enough people who apparently can’t read or hear when someone issues a disclaimer that something is ficitonal.

The special, called “Mermaids: The Body Found,” threw together “evidence” such as cave drawings, injuries to beached whales, and mysterious deep-ocean bloops to paint what it calls “a wildly convincing picture of mermaids, what they may look like, and why they’ve stayed hidden… until now.”

To quote that sage and warrior, K: “A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky dangerous animals and you know it.”

Put a silly television show in front of enough people and you’ll get people who actually believe it.


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Memorial Day

by Richard

Around here in the United States, today is a day off from work. Ostensibly, we get the day off so that we can remember and give thanks for those of our fellow countrymen and women who gave their lives in defense of America.

Yeah, it’s Memorial Day. And it’s a crappy reason to have a day off of work.

Not that I think we shouldn’t honor those who fell in the line of duty. I do. They’re brave and they gave their lives so we could live ours.

No, I just don’t like thinking about the fact that they had to give their lives. I’m remembering a paraphrase of something: I don’t want people who are willing to die for their country. I want people who will make the other guy die for his. But what I’m thinking is I want people who don’t have to die for any country.

Of course, expecting rational behavior for the leaders of just about any country is an exercise in wishful thinking. So let’s just move on.

So, today, take a couple of minutes. Round up the little dudes and dudettes. Have a little talk with them about what this day really means, how it’s not just an excuse for a cook out or to celebrate the beginning of summer. Let them know that real men and real women died to protect them, died to protect people they never even met.

In memory, raise a glass and give thanks.

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Thank A Veteran

by Richard

Today, in America, we celebrate Veteran’s Day. This is the day we set aside to honor those of our fellow countrymen and women who have served time as part of our armed forces.

What with the wars in Afghanistan and in Iraq, as well as in various hotspots around the globe, we’ve owe more than ever to those past and present members of the Army, Air Force, Marines, Navy, Coast Guard and National Guard.

While we’re celebrating all of those who served today, I’d like to set aside a couple of minutes to talk about those who gave even more. Thanks to advances in battlefield medical technology, we’re seeing more soldiers returning alive but seriously wounded from service abroad.

Which gives us the opportunity to help them. Just quickly google assistance and veteran and you’ll find plenty of organizations dedicated to helping our troops. I’d like to highlight a couple here to which you might want to donate.

Fisher House is an organization dedicated to providing “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers. These homes enable family members to be close to a loved one at the most stressful times – during the hospitalization for an unexpected illness, disease, or injury.

The Wounded Warrior Project provides a number of services to the returning wounded and their families, including benefits counseling, caregiver retreats, family support and peer mentoring.

The USO is a nonprofit, congressionally chartered private organization that provides innumerable services to our troops, either on active duty or on leave. In addition to the well-known entertainments the organization puts on overseas, the USO does things as simple and powerful as welcoming home troops who arrive in airports all over the country, something my father-in-law (himself a veteran of the Marines) does almost every week.

Take some time and provide some support, dudes. If you can’t get out and do the work yourself, you can easily donate some money to help out these and other worthy organizations.

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